The Wyre Way


The Wyre Way is a 41 mile walk following the course of the River Wyre from its source in the Forest of Bowland to its estuary at Fleetwood

A walk exploring the history and wildlife of the Wyre estuary from the estuary mouth as the river snakes to its source in the Forest of Bowland. The Way comprises three routes: from Fleetwood to Knott End via Shard Bridge (16 miles), from Shard Bridge to Garstang (11 miles) and from Garstang to the finish at Abbeystead Reservoir (18 miles). Both sides of the estuary are visited - the ferry between Fleetwood and Knott End is seasonal and the route is subject to flooding at Spring tides.
For information leaflets on the routes click Wyre Way Trails

Part of the Wyre Way is the circular GARSTANG - GRIZEDALE - NICKY NOOK – SCORTON – GARSTANG 11.5 kilometres (7 miles) trail which is a classic route for walkers from Garstang, despite the need to use sections of country lanes. It encompasses the local fells, woodlands and water - elements which combine to make the Lancashire countryside so attractive.

From the Discovery Centre go from the rear car park to the river and follow the path along the sports field edge path and riverbank towards the bridge, and climb the steps up the near side of the bridge abutment. (370 metres) The bridge crosses the extraction point from the Lune-Wyre Conjunctive Use Scheme; from here water supplies are piped to the Frank Law Treatment works at Catterall before joining the North West supply grid. The upstream barriers are to prevent flood-waters from inundating villages down stream.

Go over the bridge and just after the embankment track has joined from the left go left down steps to cross a stile and then across the field to a further stile. In the next field continue in the same direction to cross a further stile near the right hand field corner. Go across the next field to meet the left hand boundary, which is followed to a stile by a gate, and access to Wyre Lane. (500 metres)

Go right along the lane, bear left at the junction and immediately over the bridge go over the stile on your left. Cross the middle of the field to cross the footbridge in the facing hedge. Follow the right-hand fence in the next field, go over the stile in the far right hand corner and continue along the fence line until it bends away to your right. (500 metres).

Bear right here and go through the kissing gate by a gate to the left of the wood. Keep near the stream but then go directly to pass through the gate in the section of stone wall at the far end of the field. Cross the road diagonally right and go down the short track to the left of the industrial buildings to reach the railway. (750 metres).

Cross the railway footbridge and subsequent motorway bridge and continue ahead to cross a stile by a gate by the right hand corner of a wood. Follow the track along with the wood on your left down to a stile and gate and the metalled lane beyond. Go left down the lane that crosses two streams, past the entrance to Throstle Nest houses to your left, and shortly, as the road starts to climb, a track signed as a bridlepath goes off to your right. (1100 metres)

Go down this track, through the gate and continue along the beck-side path to a further gate and stile (with a footbridge to your right). Go over the stile and continue along the obvious track as it climbs up the dale to arrive, after a further gate and kissing gate, at Grizedale reservoir. (1700 metres)

Grizedale was damned in 1861-3. Whilst the waters are too acidic to be able to support much life it is not without its interests. Grizedale is Norse for the valley of the wild pigs. The valley contains many birch and oak trees and gives an indication of what the whole valley might have been like in more ancient times.

Continue along the track until almost opposite the fork in the reservoir there is a break in the left hand fence that gives access to stone steps and a stile in the wall with a footpath sign to Scorton and Nicky Nook. Cross the stile and climb the steep path that keeps near the right hand fence and wall until, on the more gentle slope, a stile is seen in the right-hand wall. Do not cross but turn left and take the path that climbs gently to the triangulation point on the fell top at a height of 215 metres. (850 metres)

The fell offers extensive views of the Forest of Bowland moors, the Lakeland fells, the Fylde Plain and Morecambe Bay. On clear days the Isle of Man and North Wales can be seen. The spread of rhododendron and the state of some of the walls on parts of the fell cry out for attention.

Leave the top by continuing along as if heading towards Morecambe Bay and the path leads down and right towards the pine trees above the topmost tarn. Keep to the left of these trees and from here the right-hand fence and wall lead down to a kissing gate above a small reservoir and then the path goes more steeply down to a stile to the right of a house at a road junction. Follow the road directly ahead all the way down to Scorton village. (2000 metres)

Scorton is an attractive village with the older properties built of the local gritstone. Refreshments and toilets are available but the village is often busy with tourists.

From the bottom of Snowhill (the road you used to enter the village) turn by the war memorial and school and walk down the driveway to the church. Go through the lychgate to the church grounds – the building of 1878-9 is a typical solid stone design of Paley and Austin reflecting Victorian values, and cost £14,000 to build. Just beyond the tower turn right through a small gate and descend the field, past a huge oak tree, to a further gate and the road. (270 metres)

Turn left on the road and, just after the bowling club, left again into Tithebarn Lane. Go under the M6 and continue on the road to pass a group of house on the left hand bend. After the last house on the right, East Barn, go up the road to find a stile in the hedge above the top of the garden. The footpath sign points us to Hazelhead Lane (550 metres)

In the field cross parallel to the M6 and pick up the left hand boundary that passes the house, Mitton Hall, and leads to a gateway and stile in the far left-hand corner. Now aim for the stile to the left of the corner of the wood ahead. Over this stile follow the right-hand fence of the wood to a footbridge and stile that allows you to enter the wood. Turn left and follow the track through the wood to a gate with a stile on its left. (900 metres)

Cross the stile and go towards the right hand corner of the field and M6 to find a stile and then a path through the gorse that goes over a footbridge. Zigzag up the embankment, go over the motorway and railway bridges and then ahead to the road. Cross the road and go through the gate ahead with its Wyre Way footpath sign. (300 metres)

Go down the field to pass through the kissing gate and gate to the right of the wood and then follow the right-hand stream down to the river Wyre. Turn left and climb the slight rise of Broom Hill, a much eroded small glacial drumlin, and then descend to cross a stile and regain the riverbank path. Go along to pass the aqueduct and then go over the footbridge and to Wyre Lane. (1000 metres)

Cross the lane to a small gate, to enter Garstang Millennium Green, and follow the path along to a further gate by a wooden sculpture of a dipper. The surfaced path follows the riverbank via a stepped embankment and enables you to return easily to your starting point in Garstang. (1000 metres)

Shorter walk:
For a shorter variation of the walk of 8 kilometres (5 miles) start at Scorton and omit the section from Garstang to the railway and M6 at Woodacre crossings.


Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015